Santa Clara County will get a new sheriff for the first time in 24 years.
In the midst of probes into corruption and misconduct allegations at the sheriff’s office, Sheriff Laurie Smith announced earlier this year she won’t seek re-election.
In early returns, candidates Robert Jonsen and Kevin Jensen appear poised for a runoff in November.
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At his election party Tuesday night, Jensen was upbeat as early returns showed him to be one of the top two candidates. Jensen, a retired longtime sheriff's deputy, ran and lost to Smith in the past, but said his stance against her before helps him now.
"My first priority is building the publics' trust and changing the culture of the sheriff's office that is right now in dyer strain," said Jensen.
Also strong in early returns is Palo Alto Police Chief Bob Jonsen, who said his experience with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and as Menlo Park's police chief gives him an edge.
"Diversity in policing has really helped and it has given me the opportunity to pull on those experiences in different jurisdictions," said Jonsen.
The other two candidates still drawing significant votes, both current sheriff deputies, are Christine Nagaye and Sean Allen.